Sun Princess cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a passenger vessel with IMO number 9000259, owned by the Princess Cruises line (a Carnival Corporation brand). Among the unfortunate events at sea are Norovirus illness outbreaks, crew and passenger incidents (deaths, injuries, crimes), shore excursion incidents, pollution, machinery malfunctions.
Here you can also track MS Sun Princess position at sea.using the AIS live ships tracker of VesselFinder. The 77,450-ton 2000-passenger Princess cruise ship Sun was built in 1995 by the Fincantieri shipbuilding company in Italy.
Sun Princess accidents & incidents
At the Sun Princess CruiseMinus page you will find a complete list of this Princess cruise ship’s major accidents and cruise incidents. Reports are made by our own staff using official data from major online news media sources, Wikipedia and USCG (Coast Guard) reports.
Here we also post updates on Sun Princess cruise law news. They are related to recent crimes being investigated. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits, charges and fines, grievances, settled /withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, etc.
You can add more details or submit your own Sun Princess ship incidents (negative cruise experience reports) via the Cruise Minus “contact us” form.
This is link to the ship’s official site Princess.com.
- November 2003, on a 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise (Oct 22 to Nov 1), the vessel experienced a mechanical issue with one of its four diesel engines failing. The incident resulted in reduced cruising speeds and caused itinerary changes (Princess Cay Bahamas was dropped).
- November 3, 2005, when the vessel was docked in call port Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas), a mechanical issue caused a power outage for over 2 hours. The ship’s backup generators provided limited electricity. After the power was restored, the ship left port ~2 hours later than scheduled.
- August 25, 2008, the ship was on an Australia to Alaska repositioning cruise (starting July 14), and docked in call port Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka, Russia). After embarkation, Russian authorities forced the vessel to wait in port for ~5 hours as they made several passport inspections. Currious fact is that the Princess cruise vessel was blocked by 2 Russian Navy frigate ships. The Sun ship was cleared to leave Petropavlovsk at ~9:30 pm, instead of the scheduled 4:30 pm departure. No explanations were given as to the reasons for the thorough inspections.
- October 2008, while operating in Alaska, the vessel was reported for pollution, with higher than allowed levels of ammonia in its wastewater than allowed by the Alaska’s wastewater standards.
- July 6, 2009 (law news), Princess Cruises company was charged and successfully prosecuted for allowing an unauthorized person to board the Sun ship in a Queensland port. The line was fined US$10,000 plus additional US$1000 court costs. The incident occurred on November 11, 2007, when the Sun ship was anchored in Funnel Bay (Whitsunday Islands, Queensland). During that time, an unauthorized man boarded the ship for a personal visit. The Princess line was prosecuted by the Australia’s “Customs and Border Protection Service” (a Government agency, restructured and renamed in 2015 to “Australian Border Force”).
- July 25, 2011, USCG reported a material failure (unspecified).
- August 27, 2011, while on a 104-days World Cruise round-trip from Sydney Australia, the ship was in Tasman Sea (between Australia and New Zealand) when she lost power. The incident was caused by a transformer failure. The incident occurred at ~4:30 am, and the ship was drifting until the problem was fixed at ~8 am.
- August 20, 2013, the 14-night relocation cruise from Asia to Australia (Singapore to Freemantle) was cancelled due to mechanical issues. A switchboard malfunction caused power outage affecting most of the hotel operations. The ship had limited power, and was without air conditioning and lighting. The vacuum toilet system also was inoperational. The Sun ship had just emerged from a drydock in Singapore.
- October 16, 2013, the ship’s departure from homeport Sydney Australia was delayed ~10 hours due to technical issues. The incident resulted in reduced cruising speed and itinerary changes (call port Bay of Islands NZ was dropped).
- April 24, 2016, due to technical issues (diesel generator failure) resulting in reduced cruising speed, the ship reported an itinerary change – dropping the scheduled call at Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and replacing it with a day at sea. As compensation, all passengers received AUD 100 in onboard credit. Also refunded were all pre-paid (booked through Princess Cruises) excursions in Kuala Lumpur. The incident occurred during a 12-day repositioning cruise from Singapore to Fremantle Australia (itinerary April 19 – May 1) with call ports Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Kelang, Bali. The next scheduled cruise (itinerary May 1 – 18, 17-day from Fremantle to Sydney) was also changed – Yorkeys Knob (Queensland) was cancelled and replaced with a sea day. The same compensation (AUD 100 in OBC) and tours refunds were given.
Crew & Passenger Death accidents
- July 24, 2007, on a sponsored by Princess Cruises Alaska shore excursion, 4 passengers died in a plane crash accident. The passengers (2 sisters traveling with their husbands) and the tour plane’s pilot were killed. The pontoon plane left call port Ketchikan AK in the afternoon for an flight tour to Misty Fjords National Monument, located in Tongass National Forest, ~40 ml / 64 km east of Ketchikan). The ship was on a 7-day roundtrip Alaskan cruise from homeport Seattle WA.
- October 2013, a 73-year-old man disappeared from the Sun Princess which was sailing from Western Australia to Darwin. The man was reported missing by his wife. A search was conducted approximately 40 nautical miles north of Cape Londonderry. NT News reports that the cruise ship was joined by patrol ship HMAS Maryborough, and three aircraft were involved in an aerial search. Although the weather was good, the missing passenger was not rescued nor his body located. The Sun Princess cruise ship was sailing on a 16-day cruise from Fremantle to Sydney.
- January 12, 2014 (law news), in November 2012, a 72-year-old female passenger died on the ship. The elderly woman (Betty Virgo) was traveling with her daughter on a 14-days cruise roundtrip from homeport Brisbane to New Zealand. On the 5th day, when the ship was docked in call port Napier NZ, she became ill at dinner. The daughter stated that during that time, the ship’s infirmary had four medical beds empty, but the staff refused to keep the ill woman there. The woman’s condition worsened on the next day. When her daughter returned after leaving briefly for dinner, she found her mother suffering breathing difficulties. The woman was taken to the infirmary and died soon afterwards. According to the ship’s doctor, the death was caused by angina. The woman’s body was returned several days later embalmed, and without a post mortem examination. The lawsuit against the Princess Cruises line was filed on November 11, 2012. The line was charged for medical negligence.
- November 2014, an 84-year-old male passenger was reported missing and presumed fell overboard when the ship was off the New South Wales coast. The vessel turned around and conducted a search and rescue operation, but the body was not found. The Sun ship was en-route to homeport Sydney, completing a 13-days round-trip cruise from Australia to New Zealand.
Crew & Passenger incidents (injuries, crimes)
- August 27, 2003, a 61-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a minor. The incident happened in the ship’s sauna room, where the man allegedly sexually assaulted a 15-year-old male passenger.
- January 7, 2009, a 7-year-old male passenger sustained a minor head injury in a traffic incident in call port Napier, New Zealand. The boy was injured when on a sponsored by Princess Cruise shore excursion, their tour bus (with all 26 passengers) crashed into a car.
- March 26, 2011 (law news), an UK news media reported the ship’s Captain pled guilty in a lawsuit filed against him for sexual assault of a minor. The man (Captain Peter Russell) was charged with sex offences against a 14-year-old female passenger in October 2010. According to the incident report, the girl was traveling with her family and was left alone in their cabin. She was asleep when the Captain entered the cabin and performed a sex act (unidentified) on her. After the cruise, he contacted her on the Internet (via MSN Messenger) making obscene suggestions. He also request a naked photo of the girl. The man was sentenced to 9 months in jail. He was also placed for 10 years on the sex offenders register.
- February 17, 2017, a female passenger was reported fell overboard, while the ship was en-route from Brisbane to Noumea (New Caledonia). Fortunately, the woman was rescued, after spending ~45 min in the Pacific Ocean’s waters. After announcing the “man overboard” alert by the Captain, 2 life rings were tossed to mark the approx location. It took ~15 min for the cruise ship to turn around and sail back to the incident area, where one of the ship’s life boats was deployed to conduct the search and rescue operation.
Norovirus cruise illness outbreaks
- January-February 2003, CDC reported on voyage Jan 25 to Feb 9, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 267 passengers (out of 2029, or 13,1%) and 29 crew (out of 877, or 3,3%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins. The ship was on a 15-days Hawaii cruise round-trip from homeport Los Angeles CA. On Feb 4, the line decided to terminate the voyage, and in the remaining 5 days, the ship transited directly from Hawaii back to LA.
- September 2004, CDC reported on the voyage Sept 6 to 13, a Norovirus outbreak affected 145 passengers (out of 1998, or 17,3%) and 5 crew (out of 855, or 0,6%). On the next voyage (Sept 13 to 20), CDC reported another Norovirus illness outbreak, affecting 101 passengers (out of 2031, or 5%) and 14 crew (out of 875, or 1,6%). Both 7-day cruise itineraries were in Alaska, leaving round-trip from Vancouver BC.
- January 2005, CDC reported on the voyage Jan 8 to 18, a Norovirus outbreak affected 93 passengers (out of 2035, or 4,6%) and 5 crew (out of 865, or 0,6%). The ship was on a 10-day round-trip Eastern Caribbean cruise from homeport Port Everglades, (Fort Lauderdale) Florida.
- May 2005, CDC reported on the voyage May 9 to 16, a Norovirus outbreak affected 121 passengers (out of 2000, or 6%) and 4 crew (out of 852, or 0,5%). The ship was on a 7-day Alaskan cruise from homeport Vancouver AK.
- November-December 2006, CDC reported on the voyage Nov 30 to Dec 10, a Norovirus outbreak affected 112 passengers (out of 2013, or 5,6%) and 7 crew (out of 862, or 0,8%).
- Unofficially, Norovirus cruise outbreaks on the Princess Sun ship were reported on sailings in March, May and December 2008.
- July 2012, CDC reported on the voyage July 8 to 21, a Norovirus outbreak affected 201 passengers (out of 1918, or 10,5%) and 15 crew (out of 836, or 1,8%). The ship was on 13-day Transatlantic repositioning cruise from England to USA (Dover to NYC New York /port Manhattan).
- December 2016, Australian news media reported that passengers boarding the ship in Fremantle (4-day itinerary Dec 18-21, cruising on Margaret River, no call ports) were warned about a delayed boarding due to extensive cleaning after a “gastro outbreak”. Princess Cruises didn’t announced the exact number of passengers with reported Norovirus symptoms during the previous cruise from Adelaide to Fremantle (9-day itinerary, Dec 10-18).
- February 2, 2017, Queensland Health reported a Norovirus outbreak on the ship affecting around 90 passengers. The ship docked in homeport Brisbane after completing a 12-day cruise (itinerary Jan 22 – Feb 2) roundtrip from Brisbane Australia to Papua New Guinea. The ship and the Brisbane cruise terminal underwent a “prolonged disinfection” before the evening departure on 14-day itinerary to New Zealand. During the cruise to NZ (itinerary Feb 2-16, roundtrip from Brisbane), Queensland Health reported another Illness outbreak of Norovirus affecting over 173 passengers and 3 crew.
- Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.
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